And the Winner Is… Books to Movies, 2019

Yep: that’s Cate Blanchett, right here in our library!

If Beale Street Could Talk, First Man, BlacKkKlansman, The Wife, Can You Ever Forgive Me? – many films nominated for Oscars this year – and every year – started off as books. 2019 will be a great year for bookish Seattleites, with film adaptations of both Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette, the latter featuring scenes filmed in our own Central library!(Digression: Seattle film buffs have to check out these amazing Then and Now videos featuring side by side reshoots of such classic Seattle set films as Cinderella Liberty and Harry and the Hendersons.)

Here are just a some of the other books coming soon to a theater near you:

Continue reading “And the Winner Is… Books to Movies, 2019”

Seattle Rep’s THE WOMAN IN BLACK: Beyond the Theater

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents THE WOMAN IN BLACK adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the novel by Susan Hill from February 22 to March 24, 2019. The basis for the play, Hill’s novel, is a chilling gothic ghost story set in the remote British moors featuring a solicitor who comes to settle the affairs of a recently deceased client and encounters an unearthly presence terrorizing the townsfolk. For more gothic goodness, check out the novels and films below:

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
Stewart’s 1958 novel of romantic suspense follows young Linda Martin as she arrives in the French countryside to nanny for nine-year-old Count Philippe de Valmy and encounters his enigmatic adult cousin, Raoul.

Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s THE WOMAN IN BLACK: Beyond the Theater”

Women Spy Writers!

Ian Fleming’s James Bond; John Le Carre’s George Smiley; Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne: the espionage shelves are packed with male spies by male writers. Which makes the following gripping titles and series penned by women a welcome change of pace.

Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht.
A different sort of spy story full of anticipation with an almost sultry atmosphere as we wait along with Vera Kelly.  Set in 1960’s Buenos Aires, Knecht captures the classic Cold War struggle between the CIA and revolutionary, nationalist communists that personified an entire era. Interwoven within the story is how Vera Kelly found herself as a lone spy observing a dangerous coup.  An utterly compelling read that is hard to put down. Continue reading “Women Spy Writers!”

Beyond “Bad Girls” – Great Antiheroines of Literature

Lisbeth SalanderGone Girl‘s Amy Elliott-Dunne; Rachel Watson from The Girl on the Train: these are just a few of the latest in a long line of compelling antiheroines stretching back to the dawn of literature. Here are some of our favorites from the past few millennia.

For all their democratic ideals, the Ancient Athenians had a terror of strong women. Witness Medea. Was Jason madly in love with her, or was it just her Golden Fleece? He learns the hard way not to leave a witch in the lurch. For two strikingly different modern takes, try Crista Wolf’s Medea: A Modern Retelling or David Vann’s Bright Air Black. And then there’s  Clytemnestra. Aeschylus’ play may be called Agamemnon, but it is his bloodthirsty wife-cum-widow who steals the show. To be fair, her husband sacrificed their daughter, and then went away for a decade; it was never going to be a warm homecoming. Colm Tóibín provides a haunting, poetic retelling in The House of Names. Continue reading “Beyond “Bad Girls” – Great Antiheroines of Literature”

#BookBingoNW2018: First in a Series

2018 Summer Book Bingo is upon us, so let the booklists begin! This list will focus on that pesky category First In A Series. There are many, many beloved series out there, many of them in genre fiction. Hopefully there will be a little something for every reader here.

The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn are a delightfully savage take on modern British aristocracy. Never Mind starts the series and is included in the omnibus edition of all 5 novels (Showtime is releasing a miniseries based on the novels starring Benedict Cumberbatch). For a lighter, shopaholic take on modern aristocracies, try Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (also soon to be in film), a voyeuristic look into the lives of China’s uber rich from the perspective of Rachel Chu, the American Born Chinese protagonist and girlfriend to the heir of one of China’s richest families, the Youngs. If snarking about the fabulously rich isn’t your jam, Rachael Cusk stretches the novel to new shapes with Outline, Transit, and Kudos (forthcoming). The novels merge oral history with fiction as a recently divorced woman encounters and listens to the stories of strangers and friends while her apartment is being renovated. Finally, if you haven’t read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, starting with My Brilliant Friend, maybe this is the summer to check that off your list. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018: First in a Series”